Maps showing the most of the fewest?
That’s one way to look at the latest maps illustrating which countries around the world have the greatest number of mammal species threatened with extinction.
By combining data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species with statistics from the World Bank, U.K.-based Eco Experts has mapped out the countries that have the highest number of endangered or threatened mammals.
In total, 25 percent of all mammals in the world are at risk of extinction. That’s 1,201 species ranging from the small and often forgotten, such as California’s Amargosa vole, to the large and majestic, such as the blue whale.
So what’s ailing these mammals?
A range of factors are at work, including deforestation, climate change, habitat loss, overhunting, poaching, and the use of animal parts in medicines. Some of the worst countries to be a mammal include Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, and India—all of which tally more than 90 species listed as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable on IUCN Red List.
Just 1 percent of the world’s landmass, Indonesia’s rainforests contain more than 12 percent of the world’s mammal population. That makes the country's position at the top of the list with 184 endangered mammals all the more troubling. The combination of poaching and deforestation has led to massive declines in populations of Asian elephant, Borneo orangutan, Indian water buffalo, Bawean deer, and Javan rhinoceros.
Madagascar’s unique environment off Africa’s east coast is home to more than 111 mammal species endemic to the country (meaning they are found nowhere else in the world). Despite being stars in the developed world, the island’s lemurs face habitat loss and hunting at home. These threats have left 93 of the world’s 105 recognized species of lemurs as endangered or threatened.
Mexico rounds out the top three with 101 mammals listed as threatened. The growth of agriculture there is decimating many animal environments like that of the Baird’s tapir, which has lost more than half of its habitat throughout Mexico and Central America in the past three decades.
Check out the maps, courtesy of the Eco Experts, to see where your country rates on the list.